St. Catherine of Alexandria

Friends in Christ, today is the Feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria. St. Catherine lived back in the 4th century, and she was known for her great mind and wisdom. She received a thorough education, and during her studies, she had a vision of Mary and the Holy Child, which led her to become a Catholic.
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When she was 18 she saw many Christians under threat of their life because of their faith. She boldly made her way to the emperor to speak to him. She told him that the gods they worship are nothing. And using her vast knowledge, she spoke of creation; the sun and moon, the stars, the earth and asked: how could all this come to be? Does this not point to God, who is Lord of all? We must adore this God and give him glory, she said. Then she taught him of the Incarnation: of Jesus Christ.
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He was overwhelmed with her knowledge and also with her beauty. But when the emperor saw that her arguments made sense, he became angry. He brought in all of his brilliant masters of logic to debate her. They said, ‘Have this maiden brought before us, she will be put to shame, for she has never met wise men like us before.’
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Catherine, having sought the help of God, used their own pagan teachings to subvert their arguments, convincing them that God indeed has become Man. Those men changed their minds, and became Christians on the spot; for this reason, they were executed by the Emperor. Catherine was then beaten with clubs, and shut up for 12 days in a dark cell.
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In her cell, angels appeared to her, and filled the place with a brilliant light. This was witnessed by the Queen herself, who came to visit Catherine in prison. They spoke late into the night of the things of God, and many soldiers who came to the cell lay at her feet listening.
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When the Emperor heard of this, he was furious. She was therefore to be tortured, by a special method. 4 wheels studded with iron saws and sharp, pointed nails would be set upon her to mangle and tear her to pieces. But when the machine was set upon her, the device shattered to pieces.
Catherine was finally sentenced to death by beheading, and there she raised her eyes to heaven saying: ‘O glory of virgins, Jesus good King, I ask you that anyone who honors my memory, may receive the benefit of your kindness.  When she was beheaded, milk rather than blood flowed from her body. For years, an oil flowed also from her bones which healed many people.
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St. Catherine of Alexandria had a brilliant mind, but it was her heart of love which made her a saint.
Her symbol is a spiked wheel; she is the patron saint of philosophers, teachers, and girls.

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